Shortly after the signatures for the Fullerton Recall of Dick Jones, Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley was approved, we contacted Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s office (on Valentine’s Day to be exact). We received a nice email from Nelson’s director of communications, Audra Adams, who promised to get back to us right away. Then nothing for weeks. I left a voice message the last full week of February and no response. So we tried again today and got through.
But first some context.
We’re curious about Nelson’s position on the Recall. After all, he served with the “Three Bald Tires” on the Fullerton City Council prior to his election to county’s board of supervisors. And, he was the next door neighbor of Friends for Fullerton’s Future (FFFF) blogger Tony Bushala for years, as well as a frequent Bushala BBQ guest.
This special election places Nelson between a rock and a hard place. Does he support the colleagues from his Fullerton City Council days or risk the ire of a millionaire developer who wants them replaced and is a longttime Nelson supporter?
Adams picked up the phone and we asked about speaking to the Supervisor on the recall. “Supervisor Nelson has no comment on the recall,” she said. She offered that he won’t speak about the recall. I then asked if she could confirm that Nelson had indeed endorsed Fullerton Planning Commisioner Travis Kiger, which the only indication of this endorsement is this story on the FFFF blog. Nelson is quoted in the story as saying: “Fullerton is in need of strong, conservative leadership. I live in Fullerton and I trust Travis to deliver on the promises of transparency and accountability.”
Kiger pulled papers for Fullerton City Council with about 15 months on the Fullerton Planing Commission. We’ve noted before, his application was among the thinnest we’ve seen. And since Kiger acts as a Planning Commissioner to Council Member Bruce Whitaker, if he’s elected to the city council, Bushala needs one more vote to unofficially be the power behind the throne.
She couldn’t confirm the endorsement or the statement.
Given Nelson’s positon on the recall, the hesistancy of his spokeswoman to simply confirm the endorsement of Kiger, and her insistance Nelson would not make a statement on the Fullerton Recall seems to be a huge contradiction especially given Nelson’s quote in support of Kiger on the FFFF blog. Adams gave me her cell number to talk about this further rather than discuss politics on the county’s dime and phone line, which we appreciate.
I called her back about ten seconds after hanging up, as I said I would.
I got voice mail every time. And no return call to both of the lines I used.
So like his dye job from gray to black, does Shawn Nelson say something on the record about the Fullerton Recall or doesn’t he? Does he endorse Travis Kiger or doesn’t he (it’s not like the FFFF blog would make up a story out of whole cloth, would they?). Does Shawn Nelson throw his old colleagues under the bus or doesn’t he? Or, does the supervisor say “how high” when his old neighbor says “jump”?
As far as the recall goes, we’re all for anything where Republican elected are replaced by solid Democrats.